We are well into the #christmasintimacychallenge on Instagram, and I’ve been thinking a lot about intimacy within my own marriage and some of the struggles that we have faced. One of the most recent being…figuring out sex after childbirth. Cue that cute little monkey covering his eyes emoji! It can be a sensitive topic, so of course, I’m going to talk about it.
I’m not going to make this post about a bunch of things you should be scared of when it comes time to be intimate after giving birth. Honestly, it wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it would be. Yes, physically some things change after you give birth, but the mental aspect was much harder for me. Childbirth and motherhood make me want to retreat into myself at times. I feel “touched out” and like I have nothing left to give sometimes, and that’s been a bit of a hurdle to overcome.
If you’re in a similar season, what can you do about it?
Embrace your postpartum body
Forget the thought of getting your body “back”. That is not to say that you’ll never be fit or skinny or whatever it is that you want to attain again. I would really just love to get rid of the idea that there is anything to get back. You had a child. You are not the same person you were before you brought life into the world. You’re a co-creator of life with Christ. You’re a momma bear. You’re a fighter, warrior, and conqueror. You are not second rate or damaged goods. Your stretch marks do not destroy your body. You are a woman who has done one of the most magical and hard things, and you are stronger and somehow…even more beautiful now. Brb, crying as I read this to myself.
wait until you are mentally ready
Now, come on. Don’t wait forever. Ha! But give yourself space to get your head back in the game. Sure, 6-8 weeks is when the doctor might clear you to be intimate with your spouse again. However, only you went through the act of childbirth. If you feel like you might need a few more days or weeks, take that time.
Communicate with your Spouse
It’s a good idea to talk with your spouse about how you’re feeling. Keep the lines of communication open about when you think you might be ready, some things that might make you nervous about starting intimacy up again, and how you might want the first night back to go. If you allow your husband to get a glimpse inside your mind and heart, it’s easier for him to support you and help to make the situation as comfortable as possible. Remember, the two of you created life together! You’re on the same team!
Get in the mood
If you have seen any of my posts where I have spoken about libido, you’ll know that I don’t mean that there is any certain thing you can do here to flip a switch and suddenly be ready to jump your husband. 😉 If you’re not sure what I mean by that, take a look at this post from Shelia Gregoire. I think she explains “sex drive” much better than I can!
So getting in the mood…what the heck can you do about that? In a nutshell, take a few minutes to think about some things that may hinder intimacy with your husband. Is it your new body image? Scroll up, read the first point again, and realize how powerful you are. Is it the fact that you’re exhausted something that might keep you from sex normally? Do something about it! Schedule a little nap in (if you can) or have that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon that you normally don’t allow yourself.
It can be tricky to “get in the mood” in any season of marriage, but the first few times after childbirth can be especially daunting. It doesn’t have to be, though. Remember what we are talking about here! Intimacy. Physical. Emotional. Mental. With your husband. The one whom you love. Your sweetheart. Your best friend. The guy who adores you and chose you. Yeah, sex can be a bit difficult to wrap our minds around after bringing a child into the world with our very own body, but when we remember that God created this to be a beautiful thing between us and the spouse who treasures us dearly…well, it doesn’t seem as daunting now does it?
Let us know below! What are some of the things that helped you with intimacy after childbirth? Or what are some of the things you’re curious about if you haven’t made it that far yet?